Global, Technology

Apple fixes FaceTime privacy bug

Apple has said that it has fixed a privacy flaw in its group video chat software and that it plans to improve how it handles reports of software bugs after a teenager and his mother tried for days to warn the iPhone maker of the bug, Reuters reported.

According to reports, a flaw in Apple’s FaceTime chat has allowed users to hear the audio of a person they were calling before that person answered the call.

A 14-year-old Grant Thompson, who, along with his mother, Michele, has reportedly tried to raise the issue to Apple. However, they said they struggled to get the company’s attention until the problem gained traction on social media.

Apple turned off the FaceTime group chat feature as its engineers worked to fix the issue, Reuters reported.

The company said it has fixed the bug on its servers and will turn on the feature for users again next week. “We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix,” Apple said in a statement. “We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible.”

Apple thanked the Thompson family for reporting the problem.

Thompson and his mother, who is an attorney, reportedly took nine days of trying to reach Apple through phone calls, emails, online postings and even a letter on Michele Thompson’s law firm letterhead before getting a response from Apple.

The state of New York is probing Apple’s failure to warn consumers about the bug.

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